A headteacher has issued a plea to parents after a spate of vandalism at her Tayside school.
Police Scotland has agreed to step up patrols at Inchture Primary following months of “thoughtless” attacks by a gang of secondary-age youngsters, including former pupils.
Staff are clearing up beer bottles and cans from an outdoor classroom area on a near-daily basis, while hundreds of pounds worth of playground equipment has been trashed.
Most recently, a safety cage covering an air conditioning unit was damaged by someone clambering onto the roof.
In her letter to parents and carers, head teacher Jane Savage said: “Over the last few days, large groups of secondary school pupils – mainly first and second years – have been congregating in school grounds.
“Many are former pupils and some are not, but we have informed over the last few months, that they are nearly all part of the Perth High community.”
She said: “I thought it would be useful to outline all of the thoughtless damage that our school community has suffered over the last year or so.
“I have previously shared this with Perth High School and our plan, after this pandemic is over, is to work with pupils and Perth High School on improvements to our school grounds in the hope that this will discourage any vandalism in the future.”
Mrs Savage highlights 15 troubling and sometimes costly, incidents including outdoor chalk boards that were ripped from the wall and destroyed and the destruction of a mini-beast home, which was made by a volunteer and would cost about £800 to buy.
She also reports smashed windows, broken plant pots and broken glass in the playground. Empty and half-drunk cans of beer are left scattered around the outdoor classroom “almost daily”.
“As a school community we are upset that a small minority have behaved in this way,” she said. “It is always upsetting to us when we have such lovely children in our school community who put a lot of thought, effort and time in to improving our school and grounds, and really care about our school and community.”
Local Conservative councillor Angus Forbes said he was “very concerned” to hear about the school’s long-standing problems.
“Not only will this impact on the children’s education and cost money to put right, some of the actions are very dangerous and could result in serious injury,” he said.
Mr Forbes, who is convener of the council’s environment and infrastructure committee, added: “I understand that the head teacher has an idea who may be involved. She is an excellent head teacher so I know she will be pursuing this to make sure it does not happen again.
“I have discussed this with the council’s community wardens who have been in touch with the school to offer advice and I understand that CCTV is being considered as a possible solution.”